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Santa Cruz Parent

(A April 2016) Seymour_starfish2.jpgSanta Cruz is a year round haven for lovers of our earth. Organizations, schools and citizens alike strive to learn and practice good stewardship.  Just today we laud Seymour Marine Center for leading the way in helping us understand more about the ocean and its role in sustaining life on earth.  Let's support them with a surge of reconnecting this week.  After all they are offering free admission to all who bike or arrive on public transportation.  "Visit, Explore, Discover!" 

Enjoy Earth Week in Santa Cruz, Parmalee

Start with a Talk about Leatherback Turtles
Visit Seymour during Earth Week, free if ...

Leatherback Sea Turtles in the California Current

April 17, 1pm Seymour Marine Center

Why Leatherbacks Cross the Pacific with Scott Benson(A April 2016) LeatherbackTurtle.jpg,Research Fishery Biologist,  NOAA - Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Marine Turtle Ecology and Assessment Program

With their immense size and peculiar appearance, leatherback turtles resemble species that inhabited Earth in the distant past. A swimming and diving machine, they are uniquely adapted for life at sea. This ancient mariner is the most widely distributed sea turtle, spanning tropical and subarctic waters worldwide. The endangered western Pacific leatherback turtle engages in the longest migration of any aquatic, air-breathing vertebrate. These turtles travel more than 7,000 miles annually between their western Pacific nesting beaches and their eastern Pacific foraging areas.

Join Scott Benson as he discusses the biology and ecology of leatherback turtles, the current status of the population, challenges to recovery, and the actions we can take to help.

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Restoring California Coastal Prairies

Naturalist Night at Santa Cruz Naturalist Museum

April 19 | 7-8:30 PM | Registration  $12 General/$6 Members

(A April 2016) CoastalPrairie.jpgThis Naturalist Night features Karen Holl in a discussion about various research projects aimed at understanding how to most effectively manage and restore the diversity of plant species native to prairie along the central California coast. Karen Holl ( is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Director of the Norris Center for Natural History. She studies the restoration of coastal habitats in California and tropical forests in Latin America.

Read this article to learn background history before the talk at the museum.

Discovering Quiroste
(A April 2016) QuirosteValley.jpgIn late October 1769, a group of bedraggled Spanish soldiers arrived overland in the territory of the Quiroste Indians on the San Mateo coast. Motivated by news of the encroaching Russian fur trade, the King of Spain had directed Captain Gaspar de Portola to head north from his base in Baja California to secure a base for colonization of the California coast. Portola's specific charge was to find Monterey Bay, sighted from sea some 150 years earlier by Sebastian Vizcaino. However, Monterey Harbor seemed too small to fit Vizcaino's grandiose description, so Portola kept heading north.

(A April 2016) Quiroste_HistoricalScene.jpgBy the time he reached the Whitehouse Creek watershed, about a mile inland from the coast at Año Nuevo Point, Portola and his men were exhausted and running low on supplies.

Expedition diarist Padre Juan Crespi wrote: "Here we stopped close to a large village of very well-behaved good heathens, who greeted us with loud cheers and rejoiced greatly at our coming." He further documented a "very large grass-roofed house, round like a half-orange," and large enough to contain the whole village. There, the men were...Read on >>>>

Earth Day Santa Cruz

City of Santa Cruz
Activities for all ages, delicious food and live music!
Date: 4/16 from 11:00am to 4:00pm

(A April 2016) Earth-Day-SC_Children2.jpgSanta Cruz Earth Day, a fun celebration of the environment and the San Lorenzo River for all age groups, is presented by the City of Santa Cruz, the County of Santa Cruz, Ecology Action and the Coastal Watershed Council. The festival will be held at San Lorenzo Park Benchlands behind the County Government Center. In case of rain, the event will be held in the County Government Center parking lot.

Earth Day  will feature over 90 educational and green retail booths, many kids' activities, an electric vehicle showcase, live music, delicious food, a beer garden and much more.

The Kids' Zone will feature an arts and crafts activity area, face painting and tumbling/gymnastics. A free rock climbing wall is open to all ages. Students from four local schools will display their Environmental Classroom Challenge projects with winners announced onstage at noon.

Live music and entertainment on the festival stage

Time Event Location
 10:00-12:00 San Lorenzo River Clean-Up Pedestrian bridge
11:00-4:00 (ongoing) Free Climbing Wall Festival area


Main Stage
1:30-2:00 Recycled Fashion Show Main Stage
2:30-3:30 Sambada Main Stage
12:00-4:00 Compost Workshop Master Composters'  Booth
11:00, 1:00, 3:00 Joya Mother Song Acoustic Stage
12:00 and 2:00 Ukulele Club Acoustic Stage
4:00 Event Ends Clean up the park!

San Lorenzo Park Benchlands, 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz Map
website Santa Cruz

Watsonville Wetlands
Citizen Science at the Wetlands

Project Tierra is a citizen science wetland biodiversity monitoring project in which students of all ages collect and record environmental data over the long-term to monitor the biodiversity and overall health of the Watsonville wetlands. The overarching goal of Project Tierra is to provide ongoing data regarding water quality, plant populations and bird populations to the scientific community that will inform wetland conservation and land management decisions in the Pajaro Valley. We are especially interested in using this data to evaluate the success of Watsonville Wetlands Watch restoration projects and guide the adaptive management of these lands.

Bird Populations

Volunteers assist in counting land and shore bird populations in Watsonville Sloughs and surrounding upland habitats. We use bird protocols designed by local experts in ornithology and the Watsonville Sloughs system.
Water Quality

Each month, volunteers test water quality in the Watsonville Sloughs. They measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity. They also sample periodically for nutrients and bacteria levels.
Aquatic Invertebrates

Volunteers and students visit the local sloughs to sample and identify the diversity of species of aquatic invertebrates in the wetlands. Because some species of aquatic invertebrates are more sensitive to pollution than others, the kinds of species found help us determine how healthy a wetland is.

Volunteers monitor plant populations in restored wetland and upland sites of the Watsonville Sloughs. We are interested in native versus non-native plant populations as well as rare, threatened, and endangered plants.
Bee Facts for Kids

(A April 2016) Bees_Children.jpgBees and kids are often not a happy combination. Taught to fear bee stings at a young age, children often erupt with screams and tears when a buzzing bee invades their space.

And though bees rarely sting without provocation, wriggling children (and dripping popsicles) can sometimes create the perfect storm of curiosity and disruption that results in a big, unhappy welt on a toddler's knee.

With all this potential for screaming children and unhappy bees, it's no wonder that budding parental beekeepers are hesitant to introduce bees to kids. Store-bought honey and safely swimming goldfish seem safer than a buzzing beehive.

But while family beekeeping may bring a few risks, consider the rewards: life lessons that make beekeeping with children a memorable (and educational!) experience for the whole family. Read more>>>>

Santa Cruz, CA
Earth Week in Santa Cruz County
April 15, 2016
"Visit, Explore, Discover!"
Start with a Talk about Leatherback Turtles
Restoring California Coastal Prairies
Earth Day Santa Cruz
Watsonville Wetlands
Bee Facts for Kids

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"Shore Wars: The Shore Awakens"
Mount Madonna's fifth grade's educational movie related to their Western Snowy Plover environmental project

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Nature Beckons

Basket Making Workshop
 Henry Cowell
Learn how to make a basket with local pine needles!
April 16, 10:00am to 12:00pm

Wildflower Festival
 Francis Beach
The 3rd annual Coastal Wildflower Day marks both the start of California Native Plant Week and Earth Day
April 16 9:00am to 4:00pm

Hike to Buzzard's Roost
Big Basin
Moderate two-mile climb going out, easy return, not recommended for small children
April 16, 10:00am to 2:00pm

Snakes Alive
 Big Basin
Meet docent Diane Shaw and learn about the fascinating world of snakes
April 16,  12:00pm to 3:00pm

Garden Planting and Wool Day
 Wilder Ranch
Plant a seed , watch shearing and spinning
April 16,  11:00am to 3:00pm

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